Human Exposures to H5N6 Avian Influenza, England, 2018

Alicia C. Thornton*, Frances Parry-Ford, Elise Tessier, Nisha Oppilamany, Hongxin Zhao, William Dunning, Richard Pebody, Gavin Dabrera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The human risk following exposure to the European reassortant avian influenza A(H5N6) is unknown. We used routine data collected as part of public health follow-up to assess outcomes of individuals exposed to H5N6-infected wild birds in England. There were 19 separate incidents of confirmed H5N6 among wild birds in the first quarter of 2018 in England and 69 individuals exposed to infected birds during these incidents. Five exposed individuals developed respiratory symptoms. However, no H5N6 infection was detected among those individuals with respiratory symptoms who underwent diagnostic testing, indicating that the human risk from this strain remains low.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjiz080
Pages (from-to)20-22
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for assistance from Mary Sinnathamby and Nick Phin of Public Health England (PHE) in relation to development of this surveillance; local PHE health protection teams for reporting the public health follow-up of exposed persons; and animal health staff for their reporting and advice in relation to avian influenza detections in avian species.


  • avian influenza
  • follow-up
  • prophylaxis
  • public health


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